I was contacted by Mr. Gerber’s publishing company when they were preparing for the launch of his new book, Beyond the E-Myth. They did a Google search for the previous E-Myth books and stumbled across my previous book review of the E-Myth Attorney on our blog. They provided me with an advance copy of this book and asked for an honest review.
Beyond the E-Myth is the final book in the E-Myth series by Michael Gerber. This book was intended to encapsulate his entire E-Myth theory and close the loop on how to implement it. As a quick background, the E-Myth is the “Entrepreneurial Myth” where many people who claim to be entrepreneurs are actually just “practitioners suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure.” In order to overcome that myth, owners of small businesses must create a “turnkey” process where their company can function without their direct participation.
In my opinion, this particular book is best looked at as a supplement to the other books. It does not cover all of the finer points of the E-Myth theory but makes reference to them a number of times. A large majority of the book is a philosophical look at the reasoning behind the E-Myth theory. It focuses on what a true entrepreneur is made of and what a true entrepreneur does. Gerber says that every entrepreneur has four distinct personalities. Each of those personalities is linked to a different aspect of a successful company. The “dreamer” personality creates the “dream” of the company. The “thinker” personality creates the “vision” of the company. The “storyteller” personality creates the purpose of the company. Finally, the “leader” personality creates the “mission” of the company. Each of these things are needed to create a successful business.
The book then goes into segments on actually implementing the E-Myth theory through a client acquisition strategy and a turnkey management system. What I took from this part of the book was one real piece of advice that linked client acquisition with client retention. You can’t focus on just doing a good job for the clients you have or just getting new clients. Both must be done in conjunction with each other. That seems fairly basic, but it is something that is good to remember.
Unlike The E-Myth Attorney, this book is not targeted at law firms. However, I think that there is a way to learn and grow from almost any book or piece of advice. From Beyond the E-Myth, I took two main ideas.
First, was the positive reminder of thinking “big picture” in relation to the firm and life in general. Gerber made a good point of working “on” your life instead of working “in” your life. Keeping a long-term view of what we’re trying to accomplish makes the mundane day-to-day much easier to deal with.
Second, was the importance of efficient and effective communication when we’re dealing with juries and judges. This book was the shortest of the E-Myth series, but it could have been much shorter than it already was. The first 60 pages (double-spaced with large font… but still 60 pages) of the book was a dedication, preface, and introduction. When I got to page 60 and saw “Chapter 1” it was a little disheartening. Beyond that, the book felt like it took 4 pages to say what could have been said in 2. I’m sure a lot of that was intentionally hammering points home to make sure they stuck, but I found myself having to “push through” and finish the book by the time I was about 2/3 of the way through. If we are not concise and succinct with the way we communicate, people will either tune us out or feel like they have to “push through” to hear what we’re trying to say. In a trial, that would be deadly. Short. Sweet. To the point. That’s how to communicate.
Beyond the E-Myth is a very good supplementary book to use in conjunction with the other E-Myth books and really nail down the overall theory. There is a lot of explanation and stories of why Gerber believes the way he does, mixed in with some good practical advice that can be applied to anyone’s life. For any small business owner, or anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur, I’d definitely suggest you read this entire series.
NOTE: Bailey & Oliver Law Firm has a reading program and an office library full of many great books. Our mission is to inspire, train, and mentor our work family to improve ourselves and client services.
Bailey & Oliver Law Firm, 3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Rogers, AR 72758.